By Dr. Daisy Joy Espejo-Torina



There are several things I noticed my baby wants to do all by herself lately. It makes me proud that she’s becoming more and more independent, but it makes me sad as well that she’s needing me less and less.

She refuses to have her hands held when climbing up and down the stairs. We always argue about this. While I do respect her need for independence, I can’t have her fall down the stairs. What is more worrisome is that she experiments on walking up and down the stairs without holding on to the rails. Big no, no!

She washes her hands. When I offer assistance, she tells me off. I can’t even stand beside her while she does it, I have to stand just outside the door. I let her do it, but I do check if she has washed off the suds thoroughly. She knows the rule not to let the water run but she turns the faucet lever way too much that the water runs too freely so I need to be there to regulate the water flow.

She shells her own eggs. She does it so neatly too. I think she just enjoys cracking the shell against the table.

She brushes her teeth and wants to do it in front of the mirror. Well, just her front teeth. She has yet to learn how to brush her molars. We do still argue when it’s time to brush teeth, but I find that she cries less now, she only tries to delay the inevitable. In the end, she would lie down on the sofa and rest her head on its arm (we pretend it’s our dental chair) and allow me to brush the areas her small hands can’t reach.

She wants to wipe herself after peeing, which I let her do, but sometimes misses so when she stands up, residual pee dribbles on the insides of her thighs.

She gets her own cup of water. She would reach for her cup (which the helpers always mercifully leave on the rack within her arm’s reach) and get water from the dispenser. Thankfully, she never experiments on pressing the red knob, otherwise hot water might just scald her. As a precaution, we never switch the hot water on, unless we want to have coffee or tea.

She attends her summer playschool without dragging her guardian inside the classroom. On her first and 2nd day in school, I wanted to be there so I could offer comfort when she felt like needing it. But she was clingy, she wanted me inside the classroom, she wanted me on her side up to the end of the class. On her 3rd day, I only saw her off to school because I had to go to work. The helpers said she went inside the classroom without any qualms. As a result, her teacher said she’s very good.

She wore her tank top all by herself for the first time last night.

I remember when she was just a baby and rolling over, crawling, standing and walking were such amazing feats. Now her feats might just go unnoticed to anybody else, but I take notice every single day. A little feat is not all that little when a mom sees it. In the words of Venus Raj, it’s major, major.  It excites and scares me that she’s growing up. I only hope I am giving her an optimal environment for growth.#